Top 5 Job Search Tips

What are my top 5 Job Search Tips? As regular readers of this blog (Hello!) will know I try and participate in the L&D (Learning and Development) Twitter Chat each Friday at 8am(GMT) which you will find under the hashtag #LDInsight.

A few weeks ago the question posed was what advice we would offer people seeking a Job within L&D. The request was that we shared our top Job Search tips.

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Career and Knowing If It’s Time To Move On

Have you reached a point in your career where you feel it is time to move on?

This morning I participated in the Learning and Development Chat on Twitter (#LDInsight.) The question posed was a really interesting one:

“How did you decide that a career in L&D or OD was for you?”

It was fascinating to see the many and varied routes through which my many L&D/OD connections have arrived in their current roles and careers.

I shared a little of my own story. My career started in Personal and Corporate Banking in the days when human beings made lending decisions rather than computers! I initially got involved in training through my membership of an external organisation Junior Chamber International which at the time was the largest out-of-hours management training organisation for young professionals.

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It’s Common Courtesy

We often read as Job Seekers attending an interview that we should write and thank the organisation/interviewers for their time and confirm that we are still interested in the role.

How about it also working the other way round?

This week having attended an interview I received an email later the same day which thanked me for attending, confirmed the details we had discussed in terms of when the outcome would be communicated and wished me a pleasant evening/weekend.

That was a first in my experience but has left me with an incredibly positive impression of the organisation and interviewers.

Whether I secure the role or not they have won a fan (and probably a customer) for a great Candidate Experience!

I was impressed! What about you?

Thanks for the Interview Invite!

Great! I have received your invitation to attend an interview and it arrived in good time. What happens next?

  • I replied acknowledging receipt and confirming that I will be delighted to attend. I have a couple of questions ahead of the interview and because the invite came from a person rather than a donotreply@ email address I can contact you. You reply to me very quickly with the answers to my questions and apologise for omitting those basic details from the invite. You make a note of the things I have asked about because you can add them to future invites and avoid others having to ask the same questions.
  • On the day of the interview I arrive in good time and the person on your reception is expecting me and welcomes me in a friendly manner. They know who you are and how to contact you so they let you know. They also ask me if I need to use the facilities and whether I would like a hot drink. I make use of the facilities to freshen up and politely decline the hot drink because I don’t want to spill anything!
  • A few minutes before the interview is due to start you come and collect me from reception. We make small talk on the way to the interview room and you also point out any interesting things along the way – like where I might find myself working if I am successful at interview. It’s obvious that it’s a friendly place to work because people speak as we walk along and even hold the door open for us.
  • When we arrive in the room the other members of the panel all get up and introduce themselves. Of course they are not hindered by their mobile phones and are not checking their email because they have already put them away or put them into “flight mode.”
  • Everything is already set up for the presentation which is great because I don’t need to work out how the various pieces of your kit work together. We start with the presentation, once you have offered me a glass of water which of course I gratefully accept and can place within easy reach.
  • Even though you have seen similar presentations, because you have been interviewing all day, you maintain an interested look and even if you are starting to tire you avoid yawning! I am grateful for that and reach the end of my presentation and answer the questions which you have around one of the points I had made.
  • Then we move onto the interview questions. Actually, it was much more a discussion about my experience, my thoughts on some of the key challenges/issues in my area of work and what I would bring to the role. That was so much better than us working through your list of competence questions which I then had to select one answer to from my memory bank of STAR (Situation, Task, Actions, Results) responses. You knew that the Question Tennis approach was old hat and recognised that a two sided discussion was much more useful. What was also great was that because we had a discussion rather than competence questions you didn’t find yourself having to say “Ah you have already answered this with one of your previous responses.”
  • There had been lots of opportunities for me to ask questions during our discussion so we didn’t then have to have that laboured “Any questions from you?” But I did have a couple of remaining questions and you very graciously answered them without making me feel rushed. Of course it helped that we didn’t have to go through all those HR type questions about Notice Period etc. because they had all been covered at application stage.
  • As we came to the end it was really clear to see that you had planned the whole process because you were able to tell me exactly what was going to happen next and by when.
  • You then walked me back to reception and as we chatted along the way you avoided the inane questions about the weather. You shook hands with me as we parted and your friendly reception team signed me out.
  • So now I just need to wait for the date you had given me for the outcome. What a really pleasant email I found waiting for me after I had driven home. You thanked me for attending, confirmed the details we had discussed in terms of the outcome and wished me a pleasant evening/weekend. I of course responded thanking you for your time etc.

That was a great interview in fact probably the Perfect Interview. Will it continue into the outcome stage to ensure that I really do have a great Candidate Experience? That will be covered in my next post!

If you want to read the previous two posts looking at What I want from Recruitment (as a candidate) then you can find them here:

  1. The Basics of a Recruitment Experience
  2. Do You want me as a Fan?


No, not a reflection on the John Lennon song of that name!


…. Imagine a CEO allowing their Sales team to say this:

“Because of the number of enquiries we receive we will only respond if we think you are really going to buy”

But they allow:

“Because of the number of applications we receive we do not respond to unsuccessful candidates”

When I posted that on Twitter one of the responses I received was along the lines of there probably being more people in the Sales Team than there are in the HR/Recruitment Team.

To be honest it has been quite the opposite in some instances I have experienced.

But where that is true then my challenge to CEOs if they want to retain/gain me as a customer would be to resource HR/Recruitment properly to give a good candidate experience – surely it makes sense?

Just imagine if the people at the top of organisations gave as much attention to the candidate experience as they do to the customer experience? They might even get more customers or retain existing customers.